Tennessee / U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- A “red flag law” may just be the newest euphemism for “reasonable gun control”. In general, a “red flag law” is some type of state law (although it could at some point be federal) which allows the state to take firearms away from an individual and/or to deny that individual the ability to purchase a gun or to obtain a handgun permit if certain “red flags” exist related to the person.
We already have laws which create a wide range of circumstances under which an individual is denied the capacity to exercise 2nd Amendment rights – even if they can still exercise other constitutional rights and live in society. Such laws include things like criminal convictions, judicial determinations in contested hearings related to mental incompetence, dishonorable discharges from the military, even obtaining government benefits based on a medical determination of mental impairment or disease. But, that is not what a “red flag” law is.
“Red flag” laws sometimes seek to deny 2nd Amendment rights because someone has had “too many” contacts with law enforcement – even if there is never any arrest, charge or conviction of any crime whatsoever. Frequently, the person targeted with a “Red flag” law has no criminal history or conviction at all.
“Red flag” laws might also arise because some neighbor, family member or teacher thinks the person “might” be dangerous and those individuals perhaps ask the state to intervene and order that the individuals guns be taken away or that they be denied access to guns prospectively.
Such laws are often pushed by individuals and groups that support gun control such as Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Everytown for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action, liberal Democrats, progressives and Establishment Republicans in some instances.
The concept of “reasonable” gun control is a dangerous argument advanced to trick conservatives into believing that its okay to impair and infringe the constitutional rights of an individual if doing so can be rationalized as something a “reasonable” person would do. Of course, constitutionally rights are not based on what some in society think is “reasonable”. To the contrary, such rights pre-exist and take precedence over the constitution. They are thus recognized by the constitution and are protected by it at a very high level. Something that gun control advocates try to circumvent by claiming that they “do support the 2nd Amendment” BUT that they are only trying to act with pure heart, good motive and reasonably to attain a greater good … you know “for everyones' safety”.
News reports are that Tennessee Republican State Senator Steve Dickerson reportedly plans to file Red Flag legislation soon in Tennessee, probably to the great applause of Michael Bloomberg and other gun control advocates. We don't know what “reasonable” gun control provisions he might include in his legislation, all we know at this point is that he is moving in that direction.
I would encourage you to contact Senator Dickerson to express any concerns you may have about his plans to seek to impose yet more government infringements on 2nd Amendment rights in Tennessee. You can call his office at (615) 741-6679, email him at [email protected] or even give him a visit at 425 5th Avenue North Suite 734 Cordell Hull Bldg.
If you want to do what you can to protect the rights that are declared inviolate by the 2nd Amendment, it is important to be involved and let these elected officials know where you stand.
by John Harris, TFA Executive Director
About the Tennessee Firearms Association
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The Tennessee Firearms Association is a not for profit organization which has been working for more than two decades to protect and advance those rights protected by the 2nd Amendment. You can get more information about the Tennessee Firearms Association at www.tennesseefirearms.com